Queen Charlotte College students treated for gas inhalation

Five high school students were treated for gas inhalation this morning after a gas leak at Queen Charlotte College in Picton.

College Principal Tom Parsons said students had used a gas barbecue during the week and hadn't turned the gas off properly.

The barbecue was in a store room beside the food technology classroom.

Students in the next classroom smelt gas about 9.30am, Parsons said.

The classroom was evacuated and a plumber and gas fitter called to the science block to investigate a possible leak.

Emergency services were called after students complained they felt ill, Parsons said.

St John Blenheim team manager Rebecca Lee said five students were treated at the scene by an intensive care paramedic for gas inhalation.

No one required further treatment, she said.

It took about 40 minutes for the source of the leak to be traced back to the gas bottle attached to the barbecue and for classes to resume.

Parsons said the incident had taught the school to sharpen up its procedures, including calling emergency services as soon as gas was detected.

Picton deputy chief fire officer Rod Thomas said firefighters arrived at the scene as a precaution.

The incident had the potential to be a big deal, he said.